Sangrita is a traditional Jaliscan accompaniment to fine tequila, a complement to the agave spirit that cleanses the palate between sips as part of an elevated experience. While there are numerous variations, sangrita (“little blood”) is traditionally made with pomegranate or tomato juice, orange juice, lime juice, and a spicy element, either hot sauce or fresh or dried chilies.
On March 5th, The Bon Vivants and Tequila Ocho launched the third edition of Viva Sangrita!! Viva Tequila Ocho!!, the annual competition that challenges bartenders across the country to create “original, thought and palate-provoking” sangritas to pair with one of Tequila Ocho’s current releases. The Bon Vivants encourage bartenders to be innovative and expand the possibilities of the spirited ritual, using the elements of tart, sweet, spicy, and savory as their guideline.
This year, regional events are taking place in eight cities: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Austin, Chicago, Boston, New York and Miami. Five semi-finalists will be selected to compete in each of the regionals, and one finalist will be crowned at each regional. These eight finalists will compete in the National Finals, taking place once again at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans.
The National Champion wins a trip to the Tequila Ocho distillery in Arandas, Jalisco to “experience all this amazing spirit has to offer, in the place of its birth.” Finalists receive a rare bottle of Tequila Ocho and a $1000 American Express gift card. Semi-finalists will get their profile and recipe published in Tequila Ocho’s sangrita book and a bottle of Tequila Ocho.
Entries are now being accepted at the Viva Sangrita site. To be considered, bartenders must submit the name of the sangrita, its ingredients and recipe. The entry must also include a description of the pairing with a Tequila Ocho expression, including the rancho, vintage and a justification of the pairing. Entries must be received by 12am PST on April 7, 2013.
For more information, complete rules and to submit your entry, please visit www.vivasangrita.com.
Photo of blue agave in Los Altos courtesy of Tequila Ocho, via Facebook.